To further highlight how Milton CAT can help improve grading accuracy, two stationary excavators were demonstrated: a 320 excavator with a Rototilt bucket and a 3D Earthworks GPS system and a mini excavator with a 2D Earthworks system for laser bench operations .
To present the new cat D1, D2 and D3 next generation bulldozers and reintegration with customers after more than a year of no events due to the global pandemic, Milton CAT hosted Grade Expectations, a two-day product demonstration event, at seven of its Northeast locations. SITECH Northeast also demonstrated how Trimble’s 2D and 3D level control technology can complement standard Cat technology and take a machine to the next level.
The events provided participants with ample space and personal attention from the experts from Milton CAT and SITECH Northeast, by requiring guests to register in advance for a specific one-hour time slot. To ensure adequate social distancing, only three companies, each with two representatives, could register for each time slot. After the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the time slot format will continue to be used at Milton CAT events due to the personalized experience.
In order to bring the most diverse machine technologies closer to the guests, the participants rotated through three stations at which field service employees gave instructions from a distance. Jordan May of Earth Development LLC stated, “I tried four or five machines that I had never played with before” at the Clifton Park Grade Expectations Event. The hands-on opportunity showed customers exactly how their business can benefit from the advanced equipment.
Successor to the D3K2, D4K2 and D5K2, the next generation dozers feature advanced technology, accuracy-enhancing design changes and a low-emission, fuel-efficient Cat C3.6 diesel engine to optimize speed, maneuverability and versatility. The new lower, sloping hood improves the forward view for the driver and enables a better perception of the construction site.
To minimize owning and operating costs, and to ensure that their dozer is best suited for their specific application, customers have options for undercarriage configurations and systems. For the undercarriage configurations, you can choose between standard and low ground contact pressure (LGP). The bulldozer’s protected track roller frame helps reduce undercarriage wear and tear, and the large double-reduction planetary final drive provides the power to push heavy loads.
With the standard slope indicator and sturdy blade, maintaining a smooth slope is easy. The additional slope technology in Slope Assist can save even more time by making it easier to reach slopes by selecting the main blade halyard and cross slope to automatically maintain the slope set by the operator. Regardless of the external conditions, the driver remains comfortable in the ergonomic cab with adjustable seat and armrests as well as optional seat heating and joysticks.
To further increase accuracy and efficiency, the demo dozers were equipped with Android-based Trimble Earthworks systems. The bulldozers come with quick-release couplings on the hood, mast brackets on the blade, and additional brackets and cables that simplify installation. With easy-to-use graphics, configurable multi-window views, and regular software updates, Trimble Earthworks software is intuitive and easy to learn.
At station one, guests assessed using a D1 dozer equipped with a 2D Earthworks single laser system that included the sign-mounted Caterpillar Slope Assist IMU sensor. 2D Earthworks provides elevation and pitch guidance while measuring the buoyancy, pitch, and tilt of the sign, creating flat or sloping surfaces. As the requirements on the construction site change, a 2D system can easily be upgraded to a 3D slope control system that follows a predefined surface model of the plans. This function eliminates staking on the construction site and significantly increases efficiency.
At station two, a D3 dozer with a 3D Earthworks GPS roof system was demonstrated. 3D Earthworks encompasses the entire project by measuring the exact position of the machine with satellite coordinates and comparing this data with the loaded project design to achieve millimeter accuracy with fewer passes and without foremen.
In addition to next-generation bulldozers, the Grade Expectations events highlighted the grading capabilities of Cat compact tracked loaders with smart attachments and Trimble systems. A 259D3 CTL communicated with a GB120 grader blade so that the operator can easily tilt, raise, and angle the blade with the right joystick. When the ASSIST function is activated, the operator can select a blade inclination and call up this angle at any time. The productivity and control of the intelligent attachments can be improved with a SITECH laser, GPS or universal total station system. The Smart Grader Blade equipped with 3D Trimble GPS was popular with attendees and received many positive comments.
Several precautions have been taken to ensure that customers can experience the benefits of onboard technology in a productive and safe learning environment. Face masks and social distancing were required. Milton CAT face covers and reflective vests were provided when customers did not have their own. Before entering the demo area, visitors completed a QR health survey to track their contacts. Thirty minutes separated each session to allow time to clean the seats and leave the customers. Several hand disinfection stations were set up throughout the event.
Every event was busy, which showed that there is a lot of interest in the next-gen machines and that customers are ready to move forward after COVID-19. Milton CAT customers provided great feedback and were stimulated by the face-to-face interactions. Chris Dudley of the BOCES Southern Adirondack Education Center said, “The next generation machines are really impressive, especially the bulldozers. The way they work. The way they run. The smoothness in the cab. The response time is amazing.”
With more than 300 attendees in the seven events, Milton CAT regards the Grade Expectations as a success. Gib Gagnon, Vice President of Machine Sales said, “The timing was right. These events were a great opportunity to introduce the new line of Cat Dozers and get back in touch with customers.”
Although meetings and product demonstrations will look different in our new reality, it is possible to host productive events that nurture meaningful relationships.